A Job Description For Teaching

By:Grant Wiggins

teachh“A rarely discussed weakness in education is the lack of a true job description for teachers in hiring. Being told that “you will teach US History” or “we are hiring you to be a 4th grade teacher” is not a job description. It doesn’t say what you are responsible for causing. It merely describes the content and level you will be teaching. It doesn’t demand that you achieve anything in particular. It only says that a certain slot and set of roles should be filled and certain content should be covered.

A real job description would be written around the key learning goals and Mission-related outcomes. What am I expected to cause in students? What am I supposed toaccomplish? Whatever the answer, that’s my job.

The Danielson Framework for Teaching doesn’t really address this problem, despite its many strengths. All the domains are about skills, not achievements; inputs, not outcomes: Planning and Preparation, the Classroom Environment, Instruction, and Professional Responsibilities. Couldn’t you therefore have these skills but not be an achiever of outstanding results? Vice versa: I have known many teachers who do little more than cause learning, yet would be found wanting on many of the components (think: Jaime Escalante or any gruff loner – but respected veteran teacher).

Interestingly, job descriptions in other fields are typically far clearer about results sought. Here is an excerpt from a job description for a manager of marketing (arguably just a different version of “teacher”) from the Indiana Department of Workforce Development” To read further please click here:  http://www.teachthought.com/teaching/job-description-teaching/

 

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